Play Smart, Play Safe
Help Desk - Hints & Tips

Play Smart In May 2011 a 20 year from Sheffield died of a deep vein thrombosis after regularly spending 12 hours at a time playing on his Xbox.  The clot had started in his left calf and then travelled up to his heart.  A lot of people think that doesn't apply to them because they are not "game players" or don't play on an Xbox. 

From a health risk point of view it really doesn't matter whether you are playing games, typing out a letter, chatting on Skype or any other computer/console based activity, the mere fact that you are sitting still for long periods of time can put your health at risk.

DVT isn't the only risk, you can suffer Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) from over clicking the mouse, headaches and back problems caused by bad posture or inappropriate seating, headaches from staring at a fixed point for long periods of time or from reflections on your screen, etc. 

Health & Safety regulations in the UK for office personnel require you to take a break from your computer screen every hour, to focus further afield and preferably to get up and walk about.

When working at a computer you should make sure you are seated in a comfortable position, and keeping a good posture. Your eyes should be level with the screen. Make sure you have enough space and don't sit in the same position for too long.  Your chair should be adjustable, and you should arrange your desk and computer to avoid glare or bright reflections on the screen. This will be easiest if neither you nor the screen is directly facing windows or bright lights. Adjust curtains or blinds to prevent unwanted light.


If you would like to read more about safe computer use please follow our link to the Health & Safety Executive's Working with VDU's leaflet 

In addition, last year Microsoft created the Play Smart, Play Safe website highlighting the dangers relating to game play for children including information on PEGI ratings, cyber bullying and how to set limits/restrictions on your Xbox.


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